An artist’s rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Colorado National Guard Armory site in north Boulder. This is a view from the corner of
An artist's rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Colorado National Guard Armory site in north Boulder. This is a view from the corner of Broadway and Zamia looking northeast. (Courtesy Circle D Companies and Loftus Developments)

Local developers are taking another shot at redeveloping the Colorado National Guard Armory site in north Boulder.

Bruce Dierking's Circle D Companies and Jim Loftus' Loftus Developments this week submitted a concept review application to the city for a mixed-use development — featuring mixed-density residential, a brewpub, retail, restaurants and arts-oriented spaces like galleries and studios — for the 8.55-acre site off Broadway and Lee Hill Road.

Prior to the formal submittal, Dierking hosted community meetings and met with city staff members about the development.

Jeff Hirt, a city planner, told the Daily Camera last month that Dierking's initial plans fit the goals for the area as the city worked to update its subcommunity plan for north Broadway.

"I think we have a plan that we feel pretty good about and have been receiving a pretty good reception," Dierking said Wednesday.

The concept plans describe the armory as "an integral piece of the puzzle in furthering the character of this diverse and energetic part of Boulder."

The plan is predominantly residential with some neighborhood-scale restaurants and retail along Broadway. The smokestack-adorned mess hall building would be repurposed into a brew pub.

Longmont's Oskar Blues Brewery and Comida have expressed interest in the development, Dierking and the owners of the respective companies said Wednesday.

"We're intrigued; we want a location (in Boulder)," said Dale Katechis, Oskar Blues' founder. "We just haven't found anything that suits our needs yet and this one made us take a second and a third look."

Oskar Blues' concepts include Home Made Liquids & Solids tap house and restaurant, CHUBurger quick-service burger restaurant and bar, and CyclHops bike shop and cantina. If Oskar Blues were to open at The Armory, the brewpub likely would resemble the Home Made Liquids & Solids restaurant at 1555 S. Hover St. in Longmont, Katechis said.

This artist’s rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Colorado National Guard Armory is the view from Zamia Avenue looking northwest with the
This artist's rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Colorado National Guard Armory is the view from Zamia Avenue looking northwest with the proposed brew pub in the background (Courtesy Circle D Companies and Loftus Developments)

Comida founder Rayme Rossello — who, along with Pam Proto, opened a Proto's Pizza at 4670 Broadway in 2004 — said the location would fit Comida well.

"It's obviously very, very preliminary. It's essentially three years away," she said. "But I'm very interested in being in Boulder."

The concept plan indicates the following for the site that would be four blocks, divided by 13th Street and Zamia Avenue:

Block One: A public area for neighborhood gatherings; an arts pavilion with studio space; a brew pub filling the converted mess hall; ground-level retail and flex retail space; and about 75 residential units consisting primarily of one- and two-bedroom sites.

Block Two: The southwest corner of Broadway and Zamia would have a mirror image of Block One's massing and architecture with retail on the ground level and two stories of residential above. The remainder of the block would have New York and Chicago-esque townhouse walk-ups with a third story of flats above. Block Two would have 127 residential units.

Blocks Three and Four: Similar in scale and density to the adjacent Holiday Neighborhood. The blocks are expected to be sold to a homebuilder and plans likely could be submitted for review under a separate process.

Circle D Companies and Loftus Developments are under contract to purchase the site, but have not closed the deal, Dierking said.

Because the agreement would be a basic sale — as opposed to past proposals that would have involved a costly relocation of the armory — Dierking said he is optimistic this purchase agreement is better positioned to succeed.

Greg Dorman, resource director for the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, confirmed that the Boulder armory is under contract. The transaction is expected to close by this time next year, he said.

The units that were based at the Boulder site have been dispersed to other armories, or readiness centers in Sterling, Aurora and Fort Collins, he said.

Some personnel remain on site to maintain equipment and stewardship of that property.

Once the sale closes, members of the detachment would rejoin their units at the respective readiness centers, he said.

In 2005, Loftus contracted with the Colorado Army National Guard to redevelop the local armory and build a 56,000-square-foot grocery store and at least 200 condos, flats and live-work studios.

After receiving neighborhood opposition to the scale of the proposal, Loftus revised the plans to reduce the size of the grocery store and amount of housing.

In the spring of 2006, Loftus withdrew his proposal as the city and state hashed out plans for the Colorado National Guard's operations and how the costs associated with the relocation would affect the density of the armory development.

The Colorado Army National Guard has had operations on north Broadway since 1956 when it moved from a building on University Avenue.

Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or wallacea@dailycamera.com.